Dating back to the 4th century, Pieve di Sant'Ippolito is the oldest church in Asciano. Located inside a private property and therefore only open by appointment, it holds a beautiful fresco, depicting the Madonna enthroned with child and saints Peter, Paul, Ippolito and Cassiano.
According to recent studies, the adolescent face of young Sant'Ippolito could be the self-portrait of a young Raphael who at the age of 17 was involved in the frescoes of the Piccolomini Library, inside the Siena Cathedral. Although it’s only a theory, you can even find Raphael’s hidden sign on the dark collar of the Saint.
Many artists who have traveled along the Lauretana road have taken inspiration from this surreal landscape. In 1993, artist Jean-Paul Philippe chose the scenery of Crete Senesi to create his Site Transitoire: a monumental stone window on the hillside framing the landscape. Travelling back from Asciano along the Lauretana road be sure to make a detour to Leonina. After 2 km you will find what Jean-Paul Philippe once called a “non-walled home” with a stone chair, a window, and no covering but the sky.